Mark Plotkin Archive

  • Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

    “Embrace of the Serpent” Film: Journey of Healing and Ethnobotany

    Ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the most important plant explorers of the 20th century, served as a key inspiration in a recent film called "Embrace of the Serpent." In December 1941, Schultes entered the Amazon to study how indigenous peoples used plants for medicinal, ritual, and practical purposes. After nearly a decade of fieldwork, he made significant discoveries about the sacred hallucinogen ayahuasca. In total, Schultes would collect more than 24,000 species of plants including some 300 species new to Western science.

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  • Prehistoric paintings on vertical rock faces in an Amazonian wilderness in Colombia were recently photographed and filmed for western eyes. The pretense of this British filmmaker as the "discoverer" of the paintings is of course ludicrous. The once populous Karijona Tribe most likely painted these masterpieces, and continue to live uncontacted in the vast rainforest, and anthropologists and explorers have studied the region for hundreds of years.

    Colombia: Stunning Indigenous Rock Art from Amazonia

    Prehistoric paintings on vertical rock faces in an Amazonian wilderness in Colombia were recently photographed and filmed for western eyes. The pretense of this British filmmaker as the "discoverer" of the paintings is of course ludicrous. The once populous Karijona Tribe most likely painted these masterpieces, and continue to live uncontacted in the vast rainforest, and anthropologists and explorers have studied the region for hundreds of years.

    Continue Reading...